The Jean Lauer Trail is the main trail that runs through Pillar Point Bluff Park. To access it, you can park at the parking lot on Bernal Ave in Moss Beach, CA or close to the Pillar Point Bluff parking lot close to Princeton-by-the-Sea. For the purpose of this description, we'll be starting from Bernal Ave.
The Jean Lauer Trail is a packed-dirt trail that is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible. It crosses the seasonal wetland area of Pillar Point Bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. At a tenth of a mile, the trail cuts to the left and then cuts to the right shortly afterwards. If you have questions, posts that sit along the trail provide directions to make sure you don't get lost. After turning to the right, the trail continues straight ahead. Mountains to the east rise above Half Moon Bay and Moss Beach. You can see the Half Moon Bay Airport below the bluff on the left. Airplanes can be seen landing and taking off throughout the day.
At roughly 0.3 miles, the Frenchman's Reef Trail
meets the trail from the right, and the Ross' Cove Trail
also starts from here. The area is windswept, and there aren't a lot of trees in the area. Flowering plants can be seen in late winter and early spring. At 0.45 miles, the Ross' Cove Trail
cuts off to the right while the Jean Lauer Trail continues straight ahead. A little after 0.6 miles, the Pillar Point Bluff Trail
cuts off to the left. As the trail continues ahead, trees sit off to the left-hand side of the trail while views of the Pacific Ocean and the Pillar Point Air Force Station spread out before you on the right. As the trail follows the tree line, several unmarked trails cut over to the Ross' Cove Trail
, which runs along the bluff top. Make sure to take in the views of the ocean that spread out before you. If you look straight ahead, you can see Pillar Point Harbor and Half Moon Bay spreading out before you.
The trail essentially ends at a paved service road that runs up to the trail. From here, you can turn around and return to your car or you can cut over to the Ross' Cove Trail
and follow that back to your car.